Never say never… but you probably shouldn’t hold your breath on this one.
by Jonathan Gannon The Arizona Cardinals have officially released DeAndre Hopkins Friday.
And that means it’s time for the question that simply duty ask each time a remarkable player becomes available (even hypothetically): should the Philadelphia Eagles sign him? !
If you play Madden, yes. You should definitely add Nuk to the Birds list. Hopkins, AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith combine to form the most intimidating trio of wide receivers in the NFL.
However, real life is not Madden. (I mean, where can you get that kind of analysis?) It’s just not as straightforward as the Eagles signing Hopkins to upgrade Quez Watkins as WR3 without any kind of ramifications.
In the words of James Seltzer, athletes are human beings. They have feelings. Personalities. Ego.
And the Eagles already seem to be cautious when it comes to managing the target distribution between their Big 3: Brown, DeVonta and Dallas Goedert.
Remember how there was a concerted effort to talk DeVonta out and then make him the first target of the game in Week 2 after he didn’t register a hold in Week 1? Remember how AJ Brown was visibly frustrated on the sidelines in a Divisional Round playoff game where the Eagles beat the New York Giants by 31 points?
“They throw the ball at me 100 times, I’m going to want it 101 times. Me personally, I just feel like I can change the game anytime. Getting the ball often keeps you going, keeps you in a rhythm. It definitely puts you in a zone; you are locked up. Of course I want the ball.
It was already a challenge to keep the Big 3 satisfied with their goals. Adding Hopkins into the mix would further complicate the dynamic. We’re talking about a guy who averaged 9.4 targets per game over his career.
To put that number into perspective, here’s how many targets each of the Eagles’ Big 3 averaged per game last season:
Brown — 8.5
DeVonta — 8.0
Goods – 5.75
Together, the trio accounted for 22.25 targets per game. That’s 74.2% of Jalen Hurts’ average 30 attempts per game.
The fourth most targeted member of the offense was the aforementioned Watkins, who only saw three targets per game. Kenneth Gainwell finished fifth with 1.7.
If the Eagles can convince their best players to see considerably fewer targets? Doesn’t look realistic. But that would make a Hopkins signing more possible.
Of course, it’s a two-way street here. Hopkins is also expected to be on board with a lesser role. And given that there are a number of teams with greater target volume to offer, it’s hard to believe Philly would be his first preference.
Again, Hopkins did to say that Hurts is one of the few quarterbacks he would ideally like to play with.
So never say never.
But, while certainly fun to think about, signing Hopkins with the Eagles doesn’t seem likely to happen. If you disagree, well, you can head over to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook to place a bet on Hopkins’ next landing spot. Seven teams have shorter odds than the Eagles:
If you bet $100 on the Eagles to sign Hopkins and they do, you’ll be $2,000 richer.